Wausau Workers Compensation Lawyers
Located on the banks of the Wisconsin River, Wausau has always served as a manufacturing hub of the region, but the city’s economy has diversified over the years and expanded into the insurance sector, banking, and tourism. Due to Wausau’s large number of remaining manufacturing jobs, workplace accidents are common and may result in severe injuries.
Wausau workers should all understand their rights and protections under workers’ compensation.
If you’ve sustained an on-the-job injury in Wausau, contact the legal team at Nicolet Law Accident & Injury Lawyers to discuss the details of your accidents and determine your eligibility to pursue a workers’ compensation claim. We have an office conveniently located in Wausau, and we have decades of combined experience representing individuals like you.
Call us today, or contact us online, to schedule a free consultation. We handle workers’ compensation cases on a contingency basis. We Win or You Don’t Pay—That’s the Nicolet Way.
Here's How We've Helped Injured Workers
At Nicolet Law Firm, we’ve represented over 3,000 individuals and secured over $34 million in compensation for our past clients. While we cannot guarantee a favorable result in your case, we can point to our past results as an indication of our experience and familiarity with Wausau’s workers’ compensation laws.
- $100,000 for a hip injury
- $80,000 for a back injury
- $70,000 for a knee injury
- $65,000 for a hand injury
- $50,000 for concussion/head injury
- $50,000 for a back injury
- $40,000 for a shoulder injury
Major Employers in Wausau
Manufacturing makes up nearly one-third of Wausau’s economy, but it’s balanced by service and industry.
We can help you with workers’ compensation cases involving most of the top employers in the area, including:
- Aspirus Wausau Hospital
- Apogee Wausau Group
- Fiskars, Inc.
- Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork
- Marathon Electric
- Marshfield Clinic-Wausau Center
- Marathon County Government
- North Central Health Care Facility
- Northcentral Technical College
- WPS Health Insurance
- Wausau Benefits
- Wausau Insurance
- Wausau-Mosinee Paper Corporation
- Wausau School District
About Workers Compensation
Every state in the nation has a workers’ compensation program that provides benefits to workers who become injured or ill at the workplace. Workers’ compensation is an insurance policy that most employers are required to provide for their employees. This no-fault policy is activated on day one of your employment, meaning you will not have a time while you are working that this policy does not cover you, and you do not have to prove that someone’s negligence caused your injury or illness.
Workplace injuries or illnesses in Wisconsin amount to around 20,000 workers’ compensation claims each year. The injuries that workers most frequently suffer here include strains, most commonly as a result of lifting; slip and fall or trip and fall accidents from a height or the same elevation; and injuries occurring due to the worker getting struck by falling or flying objects.
The types of injuries and illnesses that are covered by workers’ compensation include:
- Physical harm, including injuries such as cuts, bruises, bone fractures, sprains, strains, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, damage to tendons and muscles as a result of repetitive use, loss of vision as a result of injury, or disfigurement.
- Mental harm, including psychological disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. Psychological conditions are usually combined with physical injury. However, if you plan to seek workers’ compensation benefits for mental harm alone, you will be required to prove that the situation that caused you to suffer psychological distress was far worse than common work drama.
- Occupational disease, which is an illness that resulted from exposure to a substance, condition, or activity on the job. In addition to illness, this category of covered injuries also includes hearing loss, hernias, or a deterioration of a bodily function.
The Benefits Available Through a Wausau Workers Compensation Claim
Injured or ill workers in Wausau can obtain benefits through workers’ compensation that include:
Wisconsin workers’ comp provides wage loss benefits according to the level of your disability.
The four levels of disability include:
- Temporary partial disability: If you can work but not earn as much as you could before the illness or injury, temporary partial disability benefits will often make up the difference between the wages you are earning now and the wages you were earning before your injury.
- Temporary total disability: You will receive two-thirds of your average weekly wage, subject to a maximum wage that state lawmakers set annually.
- Permanent partial disability: The determination as to how much you can receive if you become partially disabled as the result of a workplace injury or illness is based largely on a schedule of losses that assigns a duration based on the severity of your condition.
- Permanent total disability: Permanent total disability provides two-thirds of your weekly wages for life if you can’t perform any type of work due to your disability.
All workers’ comp claims begin as temporary disability claims until a determination is made on whether the disability will be permanent. There are no benefits provided for temporary illnesses or injuries for the first three days of missed work. If your illness or injury results in you missing more than seven days of work, then all the days in which work you were too injured to work will be compensated.
Workers who become injured or ill due to a workplace condition or activity can obtain medical coverage for their injury or illness, including hospitalization, diagnostic tests, labs, surgical or physician services, prescription medication, physical therapy and rehabilitation, the provision of prosthetic limbs, a wheelchair, crutches, or other mobility assistance.
Wisconsin’s Workers’ Compensation Act requires employers to allow their employee to choose his or her own physician. If the employee is not satisfied with the services he or she received from the physician, the employee can have one more choice before the employer or insurance company selects a physician to treat the illness or injury.
To obtain your medical benefits, you must inform your employer immediately of your injury unless it is a medical emergency that requires you to be treated before you can make your report. Even if you suffer a minor injury that you don’t believe requires medical treatment, you should always report it to your employer anyway, just in case you ultimately have to have it treated. This provides a paper trail that can help prove the time and manner in which the injury occurred.
If your loved one died as the result of a workplace injury or illness, you can obtain death benefits from the Wisconsin workers’ compensation program.
These benefits include:
- Wage loss: Wisconsin Workers’ Comp can provide a maximum of four times the worker’s average annual wage at the time of the injury, up to a maximum income level determined by the state.
- Funeral expenses: Workers’ comp also provides a one-time death benefit of $10,000 to cover the expenses of your loved one’s funeral and burial or cremation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wausau Workers Compensation
If you have suffered a workplace injury or illness, workers’ compensation very well could be the deciding factor in your ability to pay your bills and the expenses of life.
If you suffered an injury or illness while at your Wausau workplace or while performing tasks within the normal scope of your employment while under the direction and control of your employer, read on answers to some of the questions our Wausau clients most frequently ask about filing a workers’ compensation claim in Wausau.
What is the process of filing a workers’ comp claim in Wausau?
To obtain your workers’ compensation benefits, follow these steps:
- Inform your employer immediately if you are injured.
- Seek any necessary medical treatment. Inform your employer of the physician you have selected to treat you and be sure to keep copies of all documents provided by your health care provider.
- When you report your workplace injury or illness that requires medical treatment to an employer, he or she must notify the insurance carrier who holds the policy. The carrier will review your claim. If you are approved for coverage, you should begin receiving your benefits directly from the insurance carrier within 14 days.
- The carrier must also forward your claim to the state workers’ compensation office within the 14-day time frame after rendering its decision.
- Your claim will remain open for six years from the date of injury or the last payment to you. Some claims can remain open even longer, so you are encouraged to keep all copies of injury-related documents for at least 12 years. The reason for this is that many individuals are released to work before their injury has fully healed and experience re-injury. By having your case open, even if your benefits stop because you returned to work, if you are required to again miss work for the same injury at a later time, your claim is still open.
How long do I have to inform my employer of my Wausau injury?
You have a maximum of 30 days in which to report the accident either verbally or in writing, providing your name, the date, the type of injury you have suffered and which body part it involved, the circumstances of your injury or illness, and if you sought medical treatment for the condition. Do not wait to report the injury, as this can lead to questions about whether the accident really happened at work or if you injured yourself somewhere else and said it happened at work.
Can my employer's insurance provider deny my Wausau workers compensation claim?
Yes. Workers’ compensation claims can be denied.
Common reasons claim denials include:
- Your injury did not occur in the workplace or during the normal scope of your employment. If your injury occurred as the result of a transportation accident while you were running personal errands on your lunch break, it is not covered. If your injury occurred due to horseplay, fighting, impairment by drugs or alcohol, or a self-inflicted wound—even if it occurred at the workplace—it is not covered.
- You failed to notify your employer of your injury within 30 days.
- Your employer has reason to suspect that you faked your injury or that you are otherwise attempting to file a fraudulent claim.
If your claim is denied, you will have the opportunity to appeal the decision. Workers’ compensation appeals can take place through a formal hearing before an administrative law judge or can involve a less-formal alternative dispute resolution.
Without an attorney, you will likely use the alternative dispute resolution process. To obtain a hearing, you will complete an application for hearing form and submit that along with supporting evidence of your claim, such as medical documentation. If you have an attorney, you have the choice of options. Often, those who choose alternative dispute resolution will request a hearing if that process doesn’t produce the desired results.
When the hearing has been completed, the administrative law judge will consider the evidence that has been submitted and the information that you provided in the hearing to reach a decision. If you disagree with the administrative law judge’s decision, you can take your case to the next level of appeal, which is made to the state’s Labor & Industry Review Commission. If that doesn’t produce a decision that you are satisfied with, you can appeal to the circuit court. Your workers’ compensation attorney can provide you with more information about each of these processes.
Can I still receive benefits from other programs such as Social Security Disability while receiving wage loss benefits?
Some programs are not affected by the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. For example, individuals collect disability benefits from the Veterans Administration while obtaining workers’ compensation without an impact on the ability to collect benefits from either program.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and workers’ compensation are not always compatible, however. This is because workers’ compensation benefits usually put the individual over the maximum income level they can have and still retain SSDI benefits.
Our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers can help you understand which assistance programs are available to you given the circumstances of your disability, and the potential impacts of workers’ compensation on your eligibility for other programs.
Can I get fired for filing a Wausau workers compensation claim?
Federal and state laws prevent employers from retaliating against workers who file a workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, most employers do not actually provide an illegal reason for a termination, but find a different, legally permitted excuse. If you believe that you were fired or otherwise retaliated against for filing a workers’ compensation claim, let your attorney know as soon as possible.
I can’t afford an attorney. Do I need one to file a Wausau workers compensation claim?
You will need an attorney to assist you if problems arise with your claim, such as you were denied coverage and need assistance with your appeal.
We understand that many people are afraid of the cost of hiring an attorney to help them with their claims. However, we provide two cost-friendly services to ensure that you get the help you need, regardless of your current financial status.
Those services include:
- A free case evaluation, which is time with the lawyer to discuss the details of your claim, get answers to your legal questions, and learn more about your options.
- A contingent-fee payment arrangement, which means you owe us nothing in attorney’s fees unless we help you obtain compensation.
Let our Wausau workers’ compensation lawyers help you make sense of the process of obtaining compensation for your work-related injury. Get your free case evaluation by calling us at (715) 716-5092 or by contacting us online.
408 3rd Street
Wausau, WI 54403
Phone: (715) 716-5092